Just going to show some scouting reports on 2 guys at a time. Feel free to p
Nail Yakupov / Sarnia Sting / Right Wing / 5’10″ / 189 / Oct. 6th, 1993
Nail Yakupov entered the OHL through the 2010 Import Draft. Drafted 2nd Overall by the Sarnia Sting, he has been one of the most interesting and electrifying players in the OHL ever since. Usually teamed with fellow draft eligible forward Alex Galchenyuk (when healthy), Yakupov has shown an ability to be a game breaker. At this point I cant think of any other player who should be the first Ontario Hockey League player selected in the NHL Draft, and he projects out as a potential franchise forward at the next level.
Nail Yakupov is one of the most dynamic offensive forwards that the Ontario Hockey League has seen in the past few years. His best asset is his mobility and acceleration. He has an extremely strong lower body, specifically his legs. He uses his legs to generate top end speed and mobility. He has the ability to turn on a dime, as he takes very hard and aggressive edges. He is one of the most elusive one on one players in the age group, and has the ability to go wide on almost every defenceman in the OHL. He has extremely strong vision and puck skills, and is at his best skating the puck into the offensive zone and making an intelligent read of the ice. He has one of the best shots in the age group, as he can get it off quickly in and out of traffic. He is smart both with and without the puck. He can read a play three to four plays ahead, and go where he needs to in order to either help create an offense scoring chance or to stop a breakout. He was dominant in the 2011 World Junior U20 tournament in Alberta, and was one of the top players, if not the top player in the tournament. His individual skills are quite impressive, and they should fit in well in the NHL.
Like most players his age, Yakupov and sometimes struggle with his complete level. Throughout the season he was the target of aggressive physical play and line matching, and at times it looks as though it can be a bit much for him. Sometimes it looks as though he can take shifts off. Another area of concern is his health and his ability to avoid injury. Personally, I feel as thou both injuries he suffered this year where simply bad luck, and not a sign of future issues, but its still something that you have to consider. He can put himself in dangerous situations, and he may have to adjust his style in order to stay healthy at the next level.
Yakupov is projected as a franchise forward at the next level. He will be a top winger on his team, and potentially one of the best right wingers in the game in 3-5 years.
Alexander Galchenyuk / Sarnia Sting / Centre / 6’1 / 198 / Feb. 12th, 1994
The story of Alex Galchenyuk is an interesting one. Originally born in Milwaukee while his father was playing with the AHL, Galchenyuk seems to be the type of player who was born and bred to be a hockey player. From an early age, he has traveled all over the globe training to be a top end hockey player. I first saw Alex at the 2008 Whitby Silversticks. Playing as a 94 against the 93 age group, he dominated the tournament on a wildcard Moscow Dynamo entry. The next year he was rostered on the U16 Chicago Young Americans team, and was one of the most offensively dominant players in minor midget. He was drafted 1st overall by the Sarnia Sting, and had one of the best rookie seasons the Ontario Hockey League has seen. This season was not as successful, as he missed almost the entire season with a knee injury. He did return later into the season and didn’t show much rust, but the missed year has definitely left some questions in scouts heads. Expectations are that he will be one of the first players drafted in the 2012 NHL Draft, and should return to Sarnia for another year of development.
Galchenyuk has been one of my favorite players to watch in the past few years. Initially in Chicago and into Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League, Galchenyuk has always been a player who has top end offensive puck skills. His ability to read the ice at top speeds and intelligent, skilled passes is astounding. He has both the ability to finish off plays around the net or the ability to generate offense anywhere in the offensive zone. He has a laser shot with a very quick release. He is not scared off by physical play, and although does not often engage, he is more then willing to use his body to win a battle or to take a hit to make a play. Before the knee injury, he was one of the best pure skaters in the draft, showing top end acceleration and footwork. What you like the most about that speed is the fact that he doesn’t slow down with the puck. Most players at this age group need to take a few second to read the play before taking a course of action. With Galchenyuk, he always picks up the puck and already has a plan in place, and can execute that plan at high speeds. He is one of the most dynamic offensive players to come out of the OHL in a while, and can be projected out as a true top end offensive centre at the next level.
There are a few question marks about Alex Galchenyuk, and they all come from the fact that he missed almost all of the season this year with a knee injury. It’s less about the knee injury itself, but more about a missed year of progression. He has not had the opportunity to develop his offensive skills this year, or fine-tune his positional play. I have no doubt that his offensive skills will translate to the next level, but a lost year of development is a lost year, and for a 17 year old hockey player, the question needs to be asked if it will affect him? Personally I don’t think so, but its something that people will be bound to ask.
Galchenyuk projects out as a number one offensive minded centre at the next level.
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and they take a defenseman